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transformers

How Does a Transformer Work?
Image: iStockphoto.com/egdigital

How Does a Transformer Work?

The electrical grid depends on the transformer, a device that transforms higher voltage to a lower one to bring electricity safely into our homes. Transformers can actually work both ways, converting voltage from low to high as well.

On a power pole, it looks like a small trashcan. Inside, primary and secondary coils of copper wire wrapped around an iron core perform the conversion.

California Energy Commission
How Transformers Can Explode

How Transformers Can Explode

In 2010, an underground electrical transformer exploded through a New York City sidewalk, sending up a fireball 7 stories high. Thankfully, no one was hurt. What could be the reason for this epic fail? More...

Article
Popular Mechanics
Transformers

Transformers

Transformers use alternating current to create a changing magnetic field. Calculate the voltage changes that correspond with the coils in the transformer. Use the interactive to test yourself. More...

Interactive
BBC
Transmission and Distribution: How Electricity Gets to You

Transmission and Distribution: How Electricity Gets to You

A transformer is just a stop (or two) along the way in the transmission of electricity from the power plant to your home.
Discover how the whole process comes together.
More...

Article
TVAkids.com
Electrical & Electronics Engineer

Electrical & Electronics Engineer

Curious about what it takes to become an electrical engineer — and where the career could take you? Check out the facts here. More...

Article
Science Buddies
Electrical Transformer Blast

Electrical Transformer Blast

Electrical transformers don’t often fail, but when they do, it can be quite spectacular. Watch this video clip to see for yourself. More...

Video
NC Fire Marshals Channel
Electricity Transformers

Electricity Transformers

If you plugged a toaster into a power line, it would explode. Transformers reduce the thousands of volts running through the power lines to smaller numbers that home appliances can handle. More...

Article
ExplainThatStuff!
How It’s Made Mini-Episode: Electrical Transformers

How It’s Made Mini-Episode: Electrical Transformers

If your neighborhood has aboveground electricity, you’ve probably noticed the large transformer canisters atop some power poles. Watch how they’re made — and tested. More...

Video
Science Channel
How Power Grids Work

How Power Grids Work

The towers, wires, and other parts of the power grid are so familiar, you may not even notice them. Read this, and you'll understand how they bring electricity safely to your wall socket. More...

Article
HowStuffWorks
How Transformers Work

How Transformers Work

Looking inside a transformer is the best way to understand how it works. This video walks you through all the parts and processes of this electrical workhorse. More...

Video
t33chin
The History of the Transformer

The History of the Transformer

The first successful commercial use of a transformer in the U.S. lit up the main street in Great Barrington, Massachusetts in 1886. Explore the history of this indispensable device. More...

Article
Edison Tech Center
Transformers

Transformers

Transformers change higher voltages to lower ones and lower voltages to higher ones. Track the steps in the process and take a short true-false quiz when you’re done. More...

Interactive
School Science

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